We open the second half of Season 8 with three quick Rick sequences: the first of him looking red-eyed and emotional (repeating Siddiq’s “my mercy prevail over my wrath”), the second his dream of what Alexandria could be, and the third of him and Michonne burying someone. We then flash back to the moment earlier in the season where Carl got bit by a walker in the woods. Shocked at first, he quickly accepts his fate and returns to Alexandria to live out his remaining days. He pens notes to those he loves, spends time with Judith, and prepares his final resting spot in the sewer all in the span of one Bright Eyes song.
We get another quick flashback of Morgan watching Negan and The Saviors escaping The Sanctuary. They spot him and he’s forced to flee. Flash forward to outside The Kingdom, where he and Carol plan to break Ezekiel free form The Saviors who took over. Meanwhile in the sewers under Alexandria, Rick struggles to process his son’s impending death. Carl reassures him things will be OK and hands him farewell letters he wrote everyone. He then explains how he got bit trying to save Siddiq.
While Morgan and Carol strategize an extraction plan, Gavin reprimands Ezekiel for attacking them in the first place. As Carl’s health deteriorates, Siddiq offers medicine and explains how he was a resident doctor. Rick pieces together that this is part of the reason why Carl saved him. Suddenly, Dwight appears and Michonne begs him to make the explosions above stop. He tells her he can’t and that they should stay there until they’re gone. Rosita thinks they should head to The Hilltop instead, and Daryl agrees.
Meanwhile, Morgan and Carol take out a couple of Saviors on their way to infiltrating The Kingdom. Gavin laments his role in the war to Ezekiel, who reminds him it’s not too late to walk away. He refuses and radios the Saviors Carol and Morgan killed – obviously there’s no response. Ezekiel reminds him again it’s not too late as gunfire rings out nearby.
Flash forward to pink-eyed Rick looking more depressed than ever. He envisions the perfect Alexandria again, which now includes Eugene. Back to reality Rick and Michonne agree to stay with Carl in the sewer while Daryl escorts everyone else to Hilltop. Before they leave, Carl gives his hat to Judith and tells her to stay strong. Before leaving, Daryl reminds Carl he’s the reason everyone was able to escape. Before they leave, Siddiq tells Carl he’ll spend the rest of his life honoring him.
Paranoid his people are dead, Gavin secures Ezekiel in the throne room and instructs his people to guard the doors. Morgan and Carol burst in and kill nearly everyone. Morgan rips out a guy’s insides and then chases after Gavin after he escapes. Morgan quickly locates Gavin, who tells him killing him won’t make anything go away. Ezekiel and Carol try talking Morgan out of it, and Morgan nearly kills him until Benjamin’s brother Henry stabs Gavin from behind, killing him. Carol scolds him but Ezekiel reassures him “all will be resolved.”
Rick and Michonne leave the sewer and carry Carl through the burning town to lay him down in the church. In his final moments, Carl asks Michonne to not be sad or angry, but strong when he passes. He also confesses to killing one of the Woodbury soldier kids who was surrendering and how he still thinks about him. Rick forgives him but Carl insists there’s a lesson in it: killing everyone isn’t the answer. “There has to be something after,” Carl says.
He then tells Rick how HE envisions Alexandria in the future (it was Carl’s dream, not Rick’s). “You can still be who you were…that’s how it could be.” Rick tells Carl everything he did was for him. He apologizes for not protecting him and Carl says it’s OK, telling both of them he loves them. Rick sobs and Carl shoots himself with a silencer pistol in his own head, saving Rick and Michonne from the awful task.
The next morning, Rick and Michonne bury Carl. Rick envisions a new Alexandria where Negan is living happily in its walls. Before the episode ends, we get another Rick – he’s sitting by a tree looking exhausted and defeated.
What did YOU think of this emotional Mid-Season Premiere? What was up with Rick at the end of the episode? How will Rick and the gang survive without Carl? Tell us in the comments!
GOODBYE PUDDING BOY ???
Wow. I expected a gut wrench of an ep. But not one tear. My emotions matched those of Tara when she walked out. WTF. That was so dry!
I enjoyed Morgan… there’s that.
Didn’t watch. But this reaction doesn’t surprise me. I’ve been cynical about this since the start.
The music at the start just flattened it. The scene splits were awfully done. Still has slack emotion from other characters. Even Rick was more upset when Carl got shot & ended up at Hershel’s farm.
My husband, who stopped watching around Season 3, walked through the room and said, “That music is awful, don’t they usually play better music than that?”
Then, later he walked through again and sat down in his chair toward the end and finally said, “Geeze, let him die already!”
I silently agreed but disingenuously said out loud, “He’s a major character, there aren’t many original characters left.”
This was a dismal failure for an episode that should have been epic.
to that flash of Negan gardening in the future calling Judith Darlin’.
There is not a sane, normal living person who wouldn’t be calling for Negan’s death. A man who can literally bash heads to a pulp is not someone you covet in your future. It’s nothing to do with the actor’s acting skills, but I cannot wait until that character is dead and gone.
This has been the worst season ever and I am slowly coming to the realization that I may someday not care about this show anymore and that was once unthinkable! I normally watch every episode over and over and over each Sunday as they are played and I barely even wanted to watch the new one much less the repeats this Sunday! I own the comics, the novels, and every Season set –
I am NOT a casual fan!
Improve this show, fer Gads sake!
In fact, Talking Dead pulled more emotion out of me.
Yes, Morgan was the highlight of the episode and even then all I could think about was how he is going to fit in on Fear the Walking Dead.
Oh, and loved when the kid drove his stick through the Savior’s neck – that was unexpected – because you just KNEW that the writers were not going to have Morgan do it, too predictable.
You think maybe he’s killed off of TWD & what you see on Fear is during that absence when we didn’t see him? Maybe somehow close to his time w/Eastman?
I was thinking that originally also, but now I’m hoping they have the courage to make a time leap forward and bring the two shows into the same time frame so that Morgan is today’s Morgan and not an anti-climactic character where we “know” what’s going to happen to him “in the future”. This last season of Fear I almost came to care about some of the characters and was encouraged by the finale where possibly they have cleansed some of them. Morgan can be a good addition if done right.
I just wish both shows would get back to the apocalyptic nature of the undead. I appreciate good characterizations and investing myself in characters. With Fear it has been “please kill him/her” more often than not though lol.
Totally feel ya on this.
Plain and simple, I cried
Horrible storytelling. Truly disappointing with where this show has gone. Honestly would like this to be the last season, I prefer for the show to just end before it gets cancelled.
Almost exactly a year ago, one of my children committed suicide by electing to shoot himself in the head with a .45.
Even though I know ‘The Walking Dead’ is a fictional series, the fact the Carl character determined to end his existence with a bullet to the brain was devastating to me to “see” on the screen.
My son left a note: “I’m done.” Nothing else. Neither I nor the rest of the family were able to interact or intervene.
Watching tonight’s show left me bereft.
I so much appreciate the writers, directors, actors — EVERYONE! — who’ve contributed to this amazing series for the entire run of the show. Thank you, All.
I’m not entirely sure I can continue watching the show.
God, that’s tragic. I’m really sorry to hear about your loss.
Thank you, Neutral-Grey. Watching the Oscars tonight.
Dear Robert ,
Hershel, Merle,Beth,Tyreese, Sasha,Lori,Abraham, Glenn now Carl. IM TIRED OF YOUR SHIT???????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wait… Lori? Really?!
Lori’s death was actually one of my favorites. Not because I hated her but because it wasn’t a death that was reserved for a season finale or opener or a mid-season finale/opener like EVERY big death is now. It just… happened. Like a quick unexpected gut punch. Also that episode was called “Killer Within” and if you have even a drop of appreciation for dark humor, that’s hilarious.
Yeah but out of that little list of names, I’m sorry to see all of them go except for her.
That was tedious. Coming into the episode I was a little sad that Carl was going to go. After dragging it out for an hour, I was wishing out loud they would hurry up and do it already. Didn’t care at all when it finally happened. They should probably end the show with the time jump at this point. They forgot how to tell this story.
Well glad to know my household wasn’t the only one who thought the episode bit it. The music was horrible, I actually muted the sound for awhile. Yeah I was all broke up about Carl, but the break was so long, and we knew it was going to happen anyway. Morgan was by far the best in the show. In my opinion, he and Carol were the only ones acting “in character” everyone else acted like they were petulant children. What really got me was Negan in the utopia dream. REALLY… WTF… he had no business in the dream at that point of the show. Might as well bring the Gov back and through in the Terminus brothers. My husband kept saying ” Jesus Carl die already so we can move on!”
Not saying that we won’t miss Carl though. Chandler does an amazing job and I personally think he sees the writing on the wall so he decided to get the heck out of dodge.
TOTALLY agree with you BarbaLucy!!! We knew for sooo long that Carl was going die…that when it was finally time we were basically over it. Morgan and Carol were killin’ it!! Carl was a great character and it was fun to watch him grow into his role. But I broke no tears when he(finally) died,too many months had passed and I was ready to move on.
Wow just watched this ep and I have to admit I was disappointed. Music at the beginning was terrible. The good part of the episode was Carol, Morgan, and Ezekiel. Hell even Gavin was more interesting than the Carl storyline. Literally got more from Daryl’s goodbye than Rick and Michonne just looking sad. Carl getting bit could have been one of the most shocking moments in the show, but they waited to show us until after we have thought about it for a month. And then the terrible music started. Season 6 was SO much better and season 7 was better too. What happened this season? It started out pretty good with Ezekiel’s battles and march home. That was decent and well worth watching. But this was just boring and annoying. And the in the vision Jerry annoyed the fuck out of me. I like his character but they were using him in a way that was annoying. How was being oppressed by Negan better than All Out War? I’m hoping the second end of the season can save it.